How to make food look fresh for photos?

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Remember the time when the entire family sat down at the dinner table for a festive feast and you all went “Oooo” when the dishes came out of the kitchen? Everything must have looked perfect and so delicious.

But bring out the old albums and have a relook, and you will see that those very dishes look different in photos. The point is, food stylists and photographers have some tricks up their sleeves which they use when they want the food to look fresh, colorful and appetizing.

Here are some of those tricks which you can also use if photographing food is on your mind.

1. Undercook your food. As food cooks it loses moisture and shrinks as it cools. Cook food only long enough so that it no longer looks raw. You can always color too-light areas or apply heat with a kitchen torch or heat gun.

2. When designing a plate, consider color (contrasting or complimentary), texture, and balance. The way you plate up your dish can also make it look fresh, or a mess (if you choose the wrong styling options). To get it right, always make 3-4 small portions of what you are cooking and try plating up with different plates or platters to see which one looks the best. Hit and trial can sometimes be very rewarding.

3. Know that cool food photographs better than hot food. You can make cool or room
temperature food can be made to look hot by adding moisture and shine with brushing oil. For highlights spray your food with PAM or water or brush with a little Karo syrup.

4. Shoot during the day and in natural soft light. This will being out good colours and textures in your dish and won’t have photo-ruining shadows or hot spots (which come when you click using the camera flash). Also, shooting can night under indoor lights can mess up the colour pallet.

5. Post processing can make a lot of difference to a photo, in the sense you can make it look like whatever you want it to be. If some of the ingredients or the entire final product looks dull and discoloured, then editing softwares will always come to your rescue.

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